ISLAMABAD (PRESS RELEASE)

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan chaired a session on Vulnerabilities and access to WASH/ voices of the community leaders with focus on the equitable and inclusive sanitation progress during South Asian Conference on Sanitation 7 organized by Ministry of Climate Change in Pakistan. While addressing the audience, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan said the countries of South Asia had made steady progress in sanitation services indicating the strong commitment of governments of the region to strengthen sanitation and hygiene in their respective countries resulting a significant increase in the proportion of people using improved sanitation. The countries had also developed and adopted national policies and strategies for sanitation that underpinned community led initiatives to tackle sanitation issues. He further added provision of clean drinking water and adequate and safely managed sanitation are not only basic necessities of life, they have an enormous impact on preventing needless death and nutritional deficiency because of diarrhea. Government of Pakistan has special focus on creating an enabling environment to improve access to water and sanitation services as described in the National Vision 2025. He also told that municipal services are not able to cope with the demand especially with the mushrooming growth of housing schemes, industrial estates and commercial zones. This is further compounded by limited resources and increasing priorities each clamoring for more allocation. Our National Drinking Water, and sanitation policies are being revised in the light of Sustainable Development Goals. Provincial WASH Sector plans have been developed, indication investment needs for the next 10 years for WASH, including climate resilience and disaster risk. He also appreciated the role of civil society organizations in addressing the development issues. Keeping in view the expertise, civil society organizations can support the governments of South Asia in development effectiveness in many important ways.